May 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Jack Ryan “Star On The Wall”

Season Three Finale

So, was that how this show usually ended the season?  It’s been so long that I forgot.

Essentially, this last episode shows the group that’s trying to stop a Russian coup and the war that goes with it by splitting into singles to do what needs to be done.  Jack gets to go to an American naval vessel to make sure the captain doesn’t shoot at the Russian warship that will provoke the war.  Luka will do the same for the Russian vessel.  Greer, Mike, and Alena will sneak into the Kremlin where Greer will distract Petrov long enough for Alena and Mike, getting an assist from the dead defense minister’s widow, will deliver evidence of Petrov’s coup to the Russian president.

Is that where I am in this series?  An episode where the head of state of a foreign country has to use secret tunnels to sneak into another head of state’s office?  I mean, yeah, time is of the essence, but it still seems pretty damn weird.

But then the more I thought about it, the more I am not sure this third season worked.  There’s no one element that I can point to that might make the show bad or anything.  It’s more like there’s something off.  As a master villain, Petrov never quite connected with me, possibly because he wasn’t really seen that much until the last few episodes.  Major questions about Luka’s trustworthiness were brought up but largely ignored.  And yes, there was a head of state sneaking into the Kremlin when the character of her father made for a much better main villain, possibly why I saw a lot more of him.

Then again, this episode also showed Jack getting shoved out of a helicopter to force a US Naval ship to pick him up when the captain refused to let him board.  That just seemed silly.

Of course, as I type this up, I do wonder whether or not the series was always like this.  It’s been a while since this show had new episodes, delayed no doubt due to a combination of COVID and, I am guessing, John Krasinski’s presumably busy schedule.  A lot of TV and movies were delayed as a result, and Jack Ryan looks to be a particularly big budget show with a lot of location shooting involved.

The point is, as good as I recall the first two seasons of Jack Ryan being, the less I can recall about how good those episodes actually were.  Was there always this mix of borderline silliness with something like real world intelligence coming through?

It doesn’t help with the timing.  As I said when I wrote up the first episode of the season, I don’t know how long this season was in the planning stages, but it does seem likely that they weren’t counting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  Here, the Russian president is basically the default “good guy” sort of world leader while the coup-planners seem more inclined to start a war with the neighbor.  I know this isn’t supposed to be the real world that much, and the world of Jack Ryan doesn’t have Vladimir Putin in charge of Russia, but that does seem a bit jarring nonetheless.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t see much advertising from Amazon Prime Video prior to the season’s start.

In the end, it doesn’t matter.  What felt like perfectly cromulent television also seemed to be a bit subpar in some respects, whether that’s due to bad timing, odd plot developments, or just the fact I don’t much remember how good this series was before it disappeared for as long as it did.

Regardless, I need something for Tuesdays now.  Hey, good news:  Yellowjackets is back this month!  Bad news:  not right away.  Well, I was looking to get to The Wheel of Time eventually.

Maybe that’s why Jack Ryan seemed so odd to me:  Amazon Prime is in the fantasy business these days.